Promising new tablets!

I’ve been a tablet-fan since the now-infamous CrunchPad was announced, long before the iPad. As much as I love my iPod Touch, it’s small screen makes it less than ideal for casual surfing on the couch. In my opinion, five or seven inch tablets make little sense if portability is not a requirement, so I’ve been keeping an eye out for nine or ten inch tablets, preferably with Android.

Let me be very clear about this. I think the iPad is a very well-designed and made product. If anyone but Apple had made it I’d already have one. But I don’t want to be tied to iTunes, and I certainly don’t want the manufacturer controlling what I can and can’t do with it. That’s why I’m glad that a couple of interesting competitors were just revealed at CES.

Pre-CES options

The best options so far were the Archos 101 and the Advent Vega (or it’s identical brother POV Mobii). The Archos comes with a UPnP client installed, but according to most reviewers, the screen is terrible. That leaves the Vega/Mobii, but I’m hesitant to buy from unknown brands. One thing you want to be sure of when buying an Android tablet is that updates will be made available through the manufacturer.

The new Toshiba tablet

It doesn’t even have a name yet, but it looks like this one ticks all the boxes. Besides all the usual stuff like USB, it has a large, high resolution screen, a fast dual-core processor, and two camera’s. And except for the silver thingy around the camera, it’s not an eyesore either.

Motorola Xoom

The Xoom boasts pretty much the same specs as the Toshiba, but seems to be focused more towards mobile use. It has 4G networking, which leads me to believe that, like the 7″ Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Xoom may be unaffordable without a contract. That would be a real shame, as I like the subdued looks and thin bezel.

If one of these two newly announced tablets becomes available at price point lower or equal to the iPad, I may very well get one. It seems like there finally are some viable non-Apple options in the tablet market, and I can’t wait to see what they’re like.

7 Comments

  1. There is the matter of the user interface. With iOS, you get one choice. With an Android Tablet, there may be various skins with which each tablet is released, depending on which product you end up with. So at the end of the day, Android is likely going to provide you with the most choices.

    Comment by Igor — January 25, 2011 @ 12:25 am

  2. “Let em be very clear about this. I think the iPad is a very well-designed and made product. If anyone but Apple had made it I’d already have one. But I don’t want to be tied to iTunes, and I certainly don’t want the manufacturer controlling what I can and can’t do with it. That’s why I’m glad that a couple of interesting competitors were just revealed at CES.” Not sure if that’s allowed :^ }
    Wow it is great to read that someone smarter than me agrees with me. Open is the best way to go but iPad is a sexy device. I saw my first one last week and, of course, couldn’t wait to see my home page on it. I was happy! I hope some day more consumers and content creators realize exactly what is going on and maybe read an EULA and compare it to GPL. I am guilty of remaining a sheep even though I do know better but someday I will leave all of that behind. Thank you for a great blog. I found you through a link on a site using wp-cumulus..

    Comment by Michael — January 28, 2011 @ 11:34 pm

  3. I actually quite like the silver thing round the camera! I have put off getting a tablet myself I suppose I am just waiting for the inevitable price drops and when there is more choice in the market!

    But as a proflific blogger myself I can see the benefits of having one, e.g. not being tied to my PC in the house and instead enjoying the great english countysite while whiting a new blog post!

    great post and great blog you got here Roy.
    Kindest Regards

    -Phillip Dews

    Comment by Phillip Dews — February 5, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

  4. I’m with you Phillip. The Xoom is $800 like I feared, and probably won;t even make it to The Netherlands. That leaves the Toshiba, which still is nowhere to be found. I’m starting to get the feeling that we won’t see any good Android tablets this year. They’re either too expensive (Xoom, Galaxy Tab), too elusive, or cheap Chinese knockoffs.

    Google should really do a “Nexus One”-like tablet, where they control the user experience and beat Apple’s pricing.

    Comment by Roy — February 8, 2011 @ 11:20 am

  5. iTunesU ( = ‘University’) is a reason to look at iTunes. I understand the arguments and thinking with regards to apprehensions on iTunes given the nature of where things have been, but a discovery of iTunesU ought to change perceptions. What you’ve basically got is a way to access academia at a level that is global and it’s all free. The files can be copied. My point is not to criticise some apprehensions but to point out that some who discard iTunes miss out on a new development. It’s possible to access a whole new world of free information and it’s audio and video and quick to download. All the Universities put up lectures and ideas and as someone who has had similar apprehensions to you on iTunes, I changed my thinking a lot because of iTunesU which is accessed via the same platform.

    Comment by Ian — February 12, 2011 @ 12:16 am

  6. and now iPad 2, and a 100 pound drop minimum in the Uk for the iPad, just watch apple go again in this sector of the market.

    Comment by Marty — March 7, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

  7. Now that Google owns Motorola I wonder where the Xoom will wind up. Google says they aren’t going to mess with things at Motorola but I find that hard to swallow.

    Comment by J Preston — August 26, 2011 @ 7:38 pm